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MINIMUM WAGE: Labour insists on nationwide strike

MINIMUM WAGE: Labour insists on nationwide strike

Nigerians have been advised to use the next few hours to stockpile food and other necessities if the Federal Government fails to meet the demands of the organized labour on the expiration of the 14-day collective ultimatum, which ends on Wednesday, as regards the demand for N65,000 per month as the new National Minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) have both issued further notices that there is no going back on their decision to down tools, if the government fails toNL meet their demands.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) also insisted that the organised labour would commence nationwide strike on Thursday.

The labour unions, which form the tripartite committee on the national minimum wage, comprise of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC).

The ULC after its emergency Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday, accused the federal government through the federal minister of Labour, of trivializing the issue of minimum wage, which they said is, ‘a life and death matter concerning Nigerian workers and masses’.

ULC President, Joe Ajaero expressed readiness of the organized labour to collaborate with other labour centres, and Civil Society Organisations across Nigeria to embark on a nation-wide strike; Stressing that the government lacks the patriotism to implement the new National Minimum Wage.

Read also: SOWORE: If senators’ N13.5m hasn’t caused inflation, why will N100,000 to a worker do so?

He said, “The federal government of Nigeria through the federal minister of Labour has chosen to trivialize a life and death matter concerning Nigerian workers and masses and unfortunately chose to thread the path of name-calling, therefore still insistent on playing politics with the lives and living conditions of Nigerians especially Nigerian workers.”

“We therefore wish to reaffirm our commitment to pursue the attainment of our collective demand for N65,000 per month as the new National Minimum wage for all Nigerian workers as harmonized by organized Labour. We recommit to the 14 Day ultimatum issued to the federal Government that as a result of this apparent disregard, we shall in conjunction with other labour centres working with Civil Society Organisations across Nigeria, embark on a nation-wide strike if nothing is done to meet our demands on the expiration of this collective ultimatum in the next few days”.

The CWC further instructed its affiliates to begin the final preparation for the proposed strike, bearing that, no further word will be exchanged with the government until something is done.

“We order all our affiliates and state councils nation-wide to move to the final level of alert in their preparation for the proposed nation-wide strike”.

He added that, a strike committee has been set up by the Congress to commence work immediately, while a ‘Political action committee is being put together to work with other centres “to achieve our political intents for the purposes of protecting Nigerian masses and workers from the ravenous wolves which our politicians have unfortunately turned out to be. Nigerian workers will not only deny any government that denies us our living wages in the forthcoming general elections but will also set up active machinery to mobilise against their elections”.

“A new National Minimum Wage of N65, 000 (Sixty-five thousand Naira) is desirable and very possible. It is only a shortage of patriotism and a surplus of official greed and corruption that is the bane of a reasonable national minimum wage! Chase Security Vote out! Chase heavy convoys and political appointees out! Reduce the cost of governance! A living wage becomes possible!”

On it’s part,  TUC Secretary-General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, In a statement on Tuesday, said the congress’ decision to embark on the nationwide strike was the outcome of a meeting held on Monday by the Central Working Committee of the congress.

Ozigi said the planned strike, which would commence in the early hours of Thursday, was informed by Federal Government’s failure to honour its demand on the new minimum wage

“Strike is hereby declared to commence from early hours of Thursday, September 27, 2018,” he said.

It would be recalled that the organised labour had on September 12 issued the 14-day ultimatum to ensure the Federal Government announce its figure and allow the tripartite committee conclude its work on the new minimum wage.

NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, had said the labour was not pleased with the “provocative statement” by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who had said the committee should adjourn indefinitely to enable him do further consultations with the government.

According to Wabba, the decision of the minister came at a time it was concluding its work of arriving at a definite figure for submission to the government.

Recently, the chairperson of the committee on the new national minimum wage, Amal Pepple, was reported to have said the Federal Government would conclude its negotiation before the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum.

“We do not want strike and I am sure that even the Federal Government does not want strike, and also Nigerians.

“So, we pray that everything will be resolved before then so labour do not have to embark on any strike,” Pepple said.

 

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